For its second chapter, Heterotropics joined forces with the Research Center for Material Culture and invited KUNCI Cultural Studies Center (Yogyakarta, Indonesia) to engage in a 6-week research residency at the Tropenmuseum. The Tropenmusuem was founded in 1926 in the East of Amsterdam as the city's colonial museum. Its purpose was to show Dutch overseas possessions mainly from the Dutch East Indies. Following the independence of Indonesia in 1945, the museum transitioned into the current configuration of ethnographic museum and is today in the process of rethinking its permanent exhibitions and displays of the colonial past.
During their residency, KUNCI researched the various collecting and representational practices related to the former Dutch East Indies at the Tropenmuseum, considered both as an archival corpus and narrative device. The at the time permanent exhibition The Netherlands East Indies constituted the focal point of the residency. Inaugurated in 2003 and dismantled in 2022, the exhibition was fashioned as a 'colonial theater' which was meant to illustrate the century-long colonization of nowadays Indonesia by the Netherlands. Through hyper-realistic life-size mannequins and artifacts of different kinds, the 'colonial theater' aimed to provide audiences with daily life sceneries of the so-called East Indies, exploring different macro-areas.
Following KUNCI's interest in sound and ubiquitous transmission, the residency has been developed through various sound interventions both inside and outside the Tropenmuseum. KUNCI's webradio platform Radio KUNCI was used as a strategical way of disseminating knowledge across geo-political boundaries and also as a reference to the employment of this medium during colonial times. Aiming to unleash alternative epistemologies and shifting confabulations, Heterotropics#2 reflected on the aftertastes and afterlives of colonialism, archival language and the politics of memory.